Is Windows 8 a reason to own Microsoft?
“They’re finally getting to the point where the shareholder base has changed, and it’s not really high-growth funds that own them anymore,” he said. “Now you have value investors buying them. I think they’re getting more interesting.”
A test version of the latest release of world’s most popular PC operating system was scheduled for release Wednesday, with a mass-market release expected in the fall. Windows 8 will have extra functionality allowing it to move into the tablet and smartphone market.
Brown was long Microsoft stock but wouldn’t be a buyer just because of Windows 8 — even on a day in which the Nasdaq briefly broke above the 3,000 level for the first time since December 2000.
“I like that they’re paying dividends, but I’m not blown away by any of the technology improvements on Windows 8,” he said. “That’s not the reason to own the stock.”
Colin Gillis, senior technology analyst at BGC Financial, saw upside in Microsoft.
“It’s a value play,” he said. “If you look at Apple with its absolute market cap is the largest listed company out there, it’s only got room to fall.”
Trading at 11 times earnings, Microsoft had room to grow, especially among businesses.
“Clearly, the consumer market is quite crowded,” he said. “You’ve got Apple at the high end, you’ve got Amazon at the low end, but the enterprise market is still up for grabs.”
Windows XP still lives on 47 percent of PCs, Gillis said, leaving plenty of potential for upgrades.
“Windows 8 is going to be an excellent product,” he said.
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Trader disclosure: On Feb. 29, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Weiss is long (QCOM); Weiss is long (TBF); Weiss is long (CSC); Weiss is long (BKU); Weiss is long (EUO); Weiss is long (KEG); Weiss is long (HK); Weiss is long (MDRX); Weiss is long (HYG); Weiss is long (HAIN); Weiss is long (VZ); Weiss is long (WLP); Weiss is long (SNDK); Weiss is long (JPM); Weiss is short (ANR); Weiss is short (MT); Weiss is short (FCX); Kelly is long (SPY) Puts; Kelly is long German bunds; Kelly is short Japanese Yen; Cortes is long SPY; Cortes is short Australian dollar; Cortes is short (XHB); Brown is long (MSFT);
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